It all started when I was 14. My mom re-married and they decided to put their skills together to create a company. With my mom’s accounting experience and his master butcher skills in the production of continental meats, they embarked on the venture.
I remember vividly finding their conversations over the dinner table very boring and repetitive. They didn’t come even close to the wild adventurous dreams I had going on in my juvenile head! One thing was for certain – I would never ever get involved in the company. Ever! Well, maybe. Ok, so I did!.
It was time for me to learn the value of working for money, they decided (or cheap labour, some might say). So most weekends I would be clipping synthetic casings with a hydraulic clipping machine. I was convinced that I was destined to lose a finger in the process! (not at all good for a budding piano player I might add). Needless to say, the more I did, the better and quicker I became. It had to be better than cleaning my Dad’s spokes on his E Type Jaguar every weekend (it was a small finger job!) And even better! I still have all my fingers! This, I always thought a very ironic status, as we lived in a caravan.
My stepfather used to come home reeking of a concoction of herbs and spices. I secretly used to try to guess what he had been blending that day – for goodness sake don’t tell them! After all, I wasn’t interested in the slightest remember! ;-)
To avoid this turning into a biography, I am going to skip to the birth of my first son, Gareth. My stepfather longed for the African sun and moved back to South Africa. Myself and my mom decided to continue with the business here in the UK, juggling babies and work to make life a little more challenging.
We decided to become more entrepreneurial in our exploits. So after many a breakfast meeting, playing aeroplanes with food, clearing up furniture and faces splatted with pureed vegetables, we hit on our concept. In 1994 designasausage.com was created.
We felt passionate about inspiring people back into the kitchen. A generation of traditional culinary skills had been lost through the introduction of ready meals and very busy lives. So we got busy. Attending and demonstrating at food shows, winning sausage awards and creating a buzz about being back in the kitchen. We wanted tastes to blow people minds and skills simplified and made easy so that they could enjoy being creative and interactive with the whole family again. This started to get a lot of attention from the media and we were mixing with celebrity chefs and featuring in magazines quite rapidly.
Sadly in 2013, after the most valiant 3 year battle, I lost my mom to cancer. It came quickly and with a vengeance. She was a very strong determined lady, with an impish sense of humour and the most selfless person I have ever known. I miss her terribly! It was time to continue on my own. I wanted this passion and business to grow even more to honour her and make her proud of what we had started. I owed it to her.
We, as we have now expanded, are now a wonderful team of dedicated foodies all comitted to helping make truly honest and utterly delicious food with a big pinch of difference. Foodie concepts and seasoning blends that allow for busy lives, yet give vital space and freedom to adventurous food loving minds and taste buds.